Mesa is building four new fire stations with proceeds from a $169 million general obligation bond package approved by voters in November 2008.

The bond program originally called for three new stations, but officials said bids for the facilities came in at 60% of the expected price due to increased competition by construction companies and lower costs for materials. The lower prices allowed the city to add a fourth fire station to the bond program.

Three of the new stations will be on Mesa’s eastern side, which has been plagued with long response times, officials said. The new station in western Mesa will replace one built in 1957 that cannot accommodate some of the fire department’s taller vehicles.

Officials said the new facilities will allow the city to seek an upgrade of its fire insurance rating, which dropped to Class 3 in 2008 because of inadequate coverage.

Mesa sold the first tranche of the 2008 authorization with a $61.8 million issue in April. The city’s 2008 GO package included $110.9 million for road projects and $58.3 million for public safety needs.

Mesa’s GO debt is rated A1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s.

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